~ The Perfect Gentleman; or, Etiquette and Eloquence, by A Gentleman, 1860

~ The Perfect Gentleman; or, Etiquette and Eloquence, by A Gentleman, 1860

~ Etiquette at College, by Nellie Ballou, 1925

~ Etiquette at College, by Nellie Ballou, 1925

~ Etiquette for Americans, by A Woman of Fashion, 1898

~ Etiquette for Americans, by A Woman of Fashion, 1898

~ Etiquette for Gentlemen; or, Short Rules and Reflections for Conduct in Society, by A Gentleman, 1847

~ Etiquette for Gentlemen; or, Short Rules and Reflections for Conduct in Society, by A Gentleman, 1847

~ Modern Etiquette in Public and Private, 1893via Internet Archive

~ Modern Etiquette in Public and Private, 1893
via Internet Archive

~ Social Etiquette, by Nathan B. Medbery, 1889

~ Social Etiquette, by Nathan B. Medbery, 1889

~ The Handbook of the Man of Fashion, by the author of “Etiquette for Gentlemen”, 1847

~ The Handbook of the Man of Fashion, by the author of “Etiquette for Gentlemen”, 1847

~ Etiquette; Or, A Guide To The Usages of Society, by Count Alfred D’Orsay, 1843

~ Etiquette; Or, A Guide To The Usages of Society, by Count Alfred D’Orsay, 1843

~ Social Etiquette or Manners and Customs of Polite Society, Maud C. Cooke, 1896

~ Social Etiquette or Manners and Customs of Polite Society, Maud C. Cooke, 1896

~ The Gentlemen’s Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness; Being a Complete Guide for a Gentleman’s Conduct in all his Relations Towards Society, by Cecil B. Hartley, 1860

~ The Gentlemen’s Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness; Being a Complete Guide for a Gentleman’s Conduct in all his Relations Towards Society, by Cecil B. Hartley, 1860

~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners; or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book, a Guide and Manual for Ladies, by Eliza Leslie, 1864via Open LibraryNote: I think the “fork-exercise” in question was cutting off a bite of pie with your fork.  True Politeness requires that you cut your pie with a knife.original pie image here

~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners; or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book, a Guide and Manual for Ladies, by Eliza Leslie, 1864
via Open Library

Note: I think the “fork-exercise” in question was cutting off a bite of pie with your fork. True Politeness requires that you cut your pie with a knife.

you're doing it wrong!
original pie image here

~ Social Etiquette or Manners and Customs of Polite Society, Maud C. Cooke, 1896

~ Social Etiquette or Manners and Customs of Polite Society, Maud C. Cooke, 1896

~ Practical Etiquette, by A. Flanagan, 1899

~ Practical Etiquette, by A. Flanagan, 1899

mediumaevum said: In the movies, I always see men giving ladies a handkerchief if they cry, and after they use it, ladies give it back. Isn't it a bit yucky to return a used handkerchief, or was it just a gesture, and women were not really supposed to use them? Thanks! Hex

It does seem rather disgusting to return a used handkerchief that you’ve cried and snotted all over, but of course in the movies the lady will only dab delicately at her eyes and never do anything as unladylike as blowing her nose in it. In any case, according to Etiquette for Everyday (Mrs. Humphry, 1904) the proper thing to do would be to take it home, wash it, and return it at another time.  Mrs. Humphry doesn’t address the problem of borrowing a handkerchief from a stranger, but perhaps she is assuming that a lady would never be so indiscriminate.

~ The Gentlemen’s Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness; Being a Complete Guide for a Gentleman’s Conduct in all his Relations Towards Society, by Cecil B. Hartley, 1860

~ The Gentlemen’s Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness; Being a Complete Guide for a Gentleman’s Conduct in all his Relations Towards Society, by Cecil B. Hartley, 1860